How Much to Tip Movers After Successful Relocation

Tipping in the service industry is pretty straightforward – it’s around 15% of your bill. But what about other services you take, and should you even give extra money for a service that is already paid? The answer is yes, and if you want to know how much to tip movers, we will present you with the standard amount of money you should give to your long-distance movers.

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June 7, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips

So how much do I tip movers? The answer to this question depends on the size of your move. For a local move, the amount is between 10-20% of your entire relocation cost, while for cross country moving, you should give between 5-10%.

How Much to Tip Movers – Things to Consider Before Your Movers Arrive

Determining how much should you tip movers shouldn’t only depend on the percentage of your move’s cost. The size of your household should be taken into consideration as well as the type of the items your cross country movers will carry, among other things. Here is a complete guide on how much to tip movers.

Once you hire long distance moving company for services, you will get a quote for your move. The price of the move will depend on the distance you are relocating, your household inventory list (or the number of belongings you are transporting,), and the type of service you take. And when all these factors are calculated, a company will give you an estimated price for long-distance moving services. In ideal circumstances, the total amount of the tips you should give should be a percentage of that price. However, moving to a new home is never that simple and so shouldn’t be tipping workers. For example, relocating a piano is not the same as relocating furniture or TV. Also, relocating during the summer is by far simpler than relocating during winter.

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Deciding About the Tip Should Be Based on the Number of Transported Belongings

As we mentioned, one of the primary ways to calculate how much to tip movers long distance is to estimate the amount and type of belongings you are relocating. In this consideration, you should also account for whether there are stairs and inaccessible passages because they will make workers’ job drastically harder. Here is a standard amount of money you should give to workers on relocation day.

Duration of the work Two persons Five persons
2 hours 10$ - 25$ 60$-120$
4 hours 25%-50% 120$-250$
8 hours 100$ - 200$ 250$-500$
12 hours 150$ - 300$ 350$-700$

Other Things to Consider When Tipping Long Distance Movers

Even if you found the cheapest way to move out of state and you have booked the most affordable long distance movers near me, you should also expect good service. So when considering “how much should I tip movers,” the quality of the service should be among the top things to look out for. Here are questions about the relocation crew you should ask, and positive answers will tell you how good and efficient the move is.

Did workers arrive on time?

Punctuality is pretty important when relocating to a new state. You will have to be in your home the whole time and wait for the movers to finish. And if workers don’t come in the agreed time, your whole day will be out of order. This can be very problematic, especially if you are relocating with a newborn or kids. If this happens in your move, you can either give a smaller amount of money or no money at all.

Did they pack and protect your items?

Some companies provide standard packing service as part of their moving service. That means that team of professionals will pack and protect all your bulky belongings and disassemble and assemble your furniture. However, even if the workers are paid to do this, if they pay extra attention to your belongings, you should give them a tip.

Were they careful?

If workers pay attention to your home (for example, they protect your floors, so it doesn’t get damaged,) you should reward them. Also, if you hired them for a packing service, look at how they are handling your items. For example, if they pack fragile belongings with care and the right packing materials, tips can be considered. On the other hand, if you think they didn’t do a good job with packing your belongings, you can skip the tips.

Did they finish sooner than expected?

Experienced workers will pack a moving truck in a blink of an eye. And if your workers are professional and know what they are doing, you should consider giving them a nice tip. Especially if they finish sooner than the initial estimate was.

Did they carry large belongings up or down the stairs?

Even though carrying large items up and down the stairs was probably the primary reason you decided to book professionals, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appreciate the hard work they are doing. If you live in a high-rise and large items can not fit in the elevator, you must not ignore that. No estimation in the world can measure the price of carrying a large, heavy table down from the eleventh floor.

Is It Customary to Buy Lunch for Workers?

Now that we have answered how much do you tip movers, it’s time to answer some questions regarding other courtesies you should provide to workers. So if you are relocating for the first time, make sure to put on your moving out list the following things:

  • You should provide beverages – No matter the weather conditions outside, you should have bottles of water available for the workers. Also, offering coffee, tea, or other hot beverages will be nice gesture workers will appreciate.
  • Order lunch – If you have two hours move, beverages and some snacks should be enough. But if you booked professionals for the whole or half a day, you should provide them with lunch. The best is to order pizza or some other fast food.
  • Offer them items you don’t want – When relocating, you will probably have to decide what to keep and what to toss away. If you haven’t organized a garage sale before your relocation day, the nice thing would be to offer those items to the workers. If you have some old furniture that can not fit your new home, give it to the workers. Who knows, maybe they know how to repurpose old furniture.

Is It OK Not to Tip Movers?

If you wonder, is it necessary to give a tip, the answer is no. If you consider the service to be bad or unprofessional, you shouldn’t give them any reward.And if you wonder what is an appropriate tip for movers, you should know there is no standard cost for tipping a mover, such as exists for waiters in restaurants or bars. It’s simply a nice thing to do if you are satisfied with the performance and effort they put into your relocation.

But if a crew is rude and unprofessional and treats your stuff like a potato, then you shouldn’t feel sorry if they don’t get any cash at all. This is not your obligation, and the company does pay them to get the job done in the best and most professional way. There are some red flags to watch out for when considering how much money to give:

  • Workers are unprofessional,
  • They are late,
  • Your belongings are not treated with care,
  • Something was damaged,
  • They refuse to carry large items,
  • They leave a mess behind.

How to Tip Workers When Long-Distance Moving?

You would think that there shouldn’t be any confusion about how to tip movers, but you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s actually pretty confusing. Should I reward them individually or give a group tip? Should I give them money now or at my new home? Having these questions is perfectly normal. The first day of your move will be messy and crowded with people, so it’s best to have as many things prepared in advance.

For starters, you should set aside the amount of money you plan to give. Once your crew arrives, determine who is the leader of the group. You should give a tip to that person and make sure to inform the crew the money is in that person’s possession. That will be the fairest and easiest way to give your money.

You can reward individually, but there will be a bigger chance of not giving an equal amount of money to everyone. But on the other hand, if you reward them individually, you can ask them for a special favor regarding your belongings. For example, if you don’t know how to pack a guitar, you can ask one of the workers to help you out for some extra cash on the side. Don’t be shy and ask for advice and guidance from the crew. If they are true professionals, they will be more than happy to help you out.


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Do You Tip Movers on Both Ends?

Another confusion is as follows: do you tip movers when they load or unload? The answer is – on both ends. Relocating across the country means you will have two different teams of professionals handling your belongings. And that means you should give both teams a reward. Of course, unloading should be assessed the same way loading was. You should take all the things into consideration when deciding on the amount you plan to give. So difficulty and quality should be your top characteristics to watch.

Also, consider whether workers have made your unpacking after a move easier or harder. If they just leave your boxes in one place, you will have to do some heavy lifting after they are gone. Furthermore see if they assembled your furniture, and in the right room.

Can You Tip Too Much? If the Workers’ Help Was Exceptional, You Shouldn’t Be Sorry for Your Money

When hiring a company to do something for you, you wish that the job is done perfectly, and if that is not the case, you will always have the option for reclamations or complaints. But what good will come out of reclamations if you got bad workers to relocate you? Yes, you would be compensated, but the amount of stress you had and the time you lost will never be returned.

So if you end up having exceptional workers, reward them for the sake of the whole industry. The good reward will only motivate them to be even better. But the well-being of humanity shouldn’t be your primary goal but your own. If you reward workers, for example, for carrying something heavy, they will probably go even further and pack and protect those items.

Two movers carrying couch
Exceptional workers will lure you into giving them even more money

How to Make Sure You Get the Best Workers?

Nowadays, finding good workers seems like a mission impossible, and if you stumble upon them, it would be nice for them to see you appreciate the hard work they put in. To make sure you get the best possible workers, make sure you book a company with great credentials and reviews. Because when people leave reviews, they will consider how good workers were alongside other things.

Also, to make sure you get the best experts in packing and handling your belongings, take a company that can provide you with all the necessary services you need, from packing to storage. This will show you that you are dealing with a serious team of professionals and the cost of relocation will not be that different from other companies.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.



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